Welcome to the USA / Benvenuto agli Stati Uniti

On Wednesday, I went on a field trip!

A naturalization ceremony was held in Bedford, and representatives from all New Hampshire congressional offices (Shea-Porter, Kuster, Hassan, and Shaheen) came to congratulate the new citizens.

People from 18 countries were present, and from such diverse places as Syria, Italy, China, and Canada. I had never been to a naturalization ceremony before, though apparently it’s a routine practice for congressional staffers. Patriotic slideshows highlighted America’s national parks, history, armed forces, and diversity. Welcome speeches were made by staff of the Citizenship and Immigration Office, and then the candidates were led in the oath of citizenship.

It was really nice to get out of the office and meet people. It was also neat to meet another intern- one who worked for a representative’s office rather than a senator’s.

There was a great diversity not only in country of origin but in age; from babes in arms to older gentlemen, they were eager to experience life in America as citizens and to participate in democratic life.

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